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Le Orme - Piccola Rapsodia Dell'Ape CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.20 | 68 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Le Orme could have so easily remained in the "ELP-like" genre and kept their fans. That they chose to explore increasingly acoustic areas having more to do with the Italian classical greats than continuing to emulate ELP counts as "truly progressive" (and not retro- progressive) in my book. While "Florian" was more classically-oriented pieces, "Piccola Rapsodia Dell'ape" dares to incorporate more of a pop feel into its tracks. On one end of the spectrum is the stellar instrumental title track (which comes close to the spirit of early- era Gentle Giant in acoustic/classical form), as well as the similarly-inclined "Fragile conchiglia". On the other end is the catchy "pop" tunes that begin each side of the album (The obviously danceable 'single' "Charango" plays like post-punk/new-wave as performed in an unplugged atmosphere... yet the actual single release was the title track itself! "Il Treno" puzzles in its juxtaposition of complexity with pop hooks... from a country where even the most complex and progressive rock music was considered "pop"). The remaining tracks on side 1 come across as closest to the classic non-ELP side of the group, "La mia bianca sposa" from the vein that also produced "Frutto acerbo", and "Raccogli le nuvole" mixing tempos and feels between sections. As to the remaining tracks on Side 2, these are the most difficult for me to enjoy, although they are by no means "bad" tracks. The chorded-piano intro to "Fiori di Luce" is somewhat upsetting, but balance is restored upon arrival of first the mandolin and high-pitched tuned percussion, quickly followed by cello and violin and switching into a more aggressive mode for the bridge. Only the acoustic guitar arrangement of "Buonanotte" comes too close to pop for a "prog" classification. The short length and inclusion of "Buonanotte" might encourage me to remove half a star from my present classification, but the fact remains that Le Orme dared to be acoustic at a time when their following would have loved nothing more than to hear more ELP-type performances, while maintaining their level of classically-inspired composition (which becomes even more apparent in an acoustic setting) so I'd rather stay at four stars than three. Any opera/Italian-classics-loving prog fan should check this out. And in the age of MP3s permitting one to check out recordings first, there no longer is an excuse to avoid hearing this album.
| 4/5 |


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